The right gaming mouse is as much about how comfortably it fits in your hand as it is the technical product specifications. If a mouse is too big and bulky, or not big enough, it doesn’t matter what groundbreaking technology is under the hood. With the Sensei Ten gaming mouse from SteelSeries, gamers are treated to high-end comfort, but the technical specifications are merely comprable to competitors.
My first quest with any piece of hardware I introduce into my gaming setup is to figure out if I can use it effectively without the addition of software. The Sensei Ten is fine to plug in and start gaming without the use of the SteelSeries Engine 3 software. However, I wouldn’t advise that, as the software allows players to configure every button on the mouse, as well as the RGB lighting on the SteelSeries logo on the base of the mouse and the scroll wheel. This is also where users can choose their preferred CPI (counts per inch), polling rate, angle snapping, as well as the acceleration and deceleration. Software is basically mandatory with hardware these days, but if your needs are simple and you don’t want to fuss with it, you can use the Sensei Ten without ever worrying about software.
Before I started using the Sensei Ten, I was a bit worried about how it would feel. My hands are more like clubs than hands, but the low-key design suited me just fine. The mouse is ambidextrous, meaning it can be used effectively and comfortably whether you’re right or left-handed. It feels solid like you expect a SteelSeries product should, and the matte finish makes holding the mouse a pleasure. It has eight buttons, each of which can be customized, so if you’re looking for something with a few more bells and whistles, this might not cut it. Eight is fairly standard, though, and I found no need for more during my time with the Sensei Ten.
Any piece of gaming hardware you buy these days has a laundry list of product specifications that sound amazing and are meant to convince you this product offers something none of the others can. Rarely is that true, and there was nothing groundbreaking about the Sensei Ten that stood out during my extended time using it. The CPI is advertised a big seller at 18,000, but that's by no means tops in the industry. The Sensei Ten also promises to last for 60 million clicks but, again, that isn't anything special when you do some comparisons with other options.
After setting my ideal CPI and acceleration, I couldn’t spot a difference between the Sensei Ten and the last mouse I used besides how it felt in my hand. I tested it in Destiny 2, Monster Hunter World, The Witcher 3, and The Long Dark. All offer a unique gaming experience. The Sensei Ten held up during intense first-person shooter action in Destiny 2, as well as hectic combat in Monster Hunter World. I never felt that the mouse failed to respond the way I expected it to, but it also didn't feel like I was experiencing a bump in performance. I didn’t notice an increase or decrease in tracking, or that clicking was more or less accurate. Clicking with the Sensei Ten does feel crisp, and it remains crisp two months after I started using it, but that’s a baseline expectation for a high-end gaming mouse.
I’ve had gaming mice fall apart long before they should have, and this includes SteelSeries products such as the Rival 600. Extended usage caused the glue holding some of the components in place to melt and slip, which is a nightmare. The Sensei Ten has shown no signs of this issue, and I’ve used it daily for two months now. It feels as new and durable as it did the day I plugged it in which, combined with the comfort of the mouse in my hand, has made usage a dream compared to my previous hardware. I attribute this to its sleek design which is more classic than most gaming mice you see today. SteelSeries didn't try to reinvent the wheel here, recognizing that the wheel is what it is. The Sensei Ten's physical design isn't so much about pushing forward as it is returning to its roots.
It’s a keeper
If you’ve got a good gaming mouse, I struggle to find a reason you should pick up the SteelSeries Sensei Ten and expect better performance. The technical specifications are comparable to other gaming mice on the market. In fact, they’re lacking in some cases. Where the SteelSeries Sensei Ten really shines for me is in how it feels in your hand, and that is something difficult to get right. It feels sturdy without being bulky, and the fact it’s ambidextrous is a huge selling point for anyone left-handed who feels they are being forgotten in the world of gaming hardware. I can say that, by far, the Sensei Ten is the most comfortable gaming mouse I’ve ever used. Combine that with easy customization and some competitive technical specifications, and it’s a great option if you need a new gaming mouse. Just don't go buying one until it's time to replace what you have now.
This review is based on a sample product provided by the publisher. The SteelSeries Sensei Ten is available in retail and digital stores now.
Steelseries Sensei Ten
- Matte finish is nice to the touch
- Ambidextrous design
- Easy customization of all eight buttons
- Feels solid without being bulky
- Clicking feels crisp after two months
- Technical specifications don't set it apart
- Must use software to reach its full potential